DeKalb History Center Halloween Party

Adults and kids alike are invited to attend the DeKalb History Center’s Haunted Courthouse Party on Thursday, Oct. 25th from 5:30p-9:30p at the old DeKalb Courthouse on the square in Decatur.

The $30 admission for adults and $10 for kids includes dinner, a costume contest and live music from The Rainmen. Children’s activities will take place from 5:30p-7p and include Ghost Storytelling (or in other words “Ghost Stories”), Witch Storytelling (storytelling by a witch?) , a puppet show, a magician, face painting, balloon animals and goody bags.

For tickets or more information call 404-373-1088

Go DeKalb

Decatur's Draft Charter Petition Online

In Decatur received an email from Decatur schools notifying the public that, as scheduled, Decatur’s Charter School Petition is now online. Click here for the 77 page document.

Much of what was said in the city’s grant application is reiterated in this document. Decatur sees charter status as a key component of the CDS Strategic Plan’s oft-repeated vision that “City Schools of Decatur will be one of the top ten community school systems in the nation”. (I would be curious to know what measurements are used to ultimately determine this)

From what I can gather, CDS believes that the flexibility that comes along with charter school status will ultimately help the school system reach more aggressively for the very high bar they set for themselves back in the 2004 Strategic Plan.

The most tangible, actionable changes that would come with adoption of charter status are found in three phases on page 25 of the petition.

Here’s phase 1:

  • Develop school level award system (incentive pay) based on student growth
  • Develop a new teacher appraisal system
  • Implement a comprehensive professional learning plan for School Leadership teams (school based governance teams)
  • Assess and refine charter governance model
  • Begin a plan to replicate the Ben Franklin Academy model (competency based)
  • Identify struggling students in grades 6-12 and implement intervention plans based on the Response to Intervention model
  • Fully implement Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment
  • Implement graduation plans for all students in grades 9-12
  • Examine the feasibility of IB for All for students in grades 9-12 (here’s a Newsweek article that describes the rigorous IB for All process)

See page 25 of the petition for phases 2 and 3.

Don’t forget about the public input session next Tuesday, Oct 16th at 6:30p at the Central Office at Westchester.

More Decatur Beer Festival Details

The DeKalb Neighbor interviews Beer Festival co-founder and Brick Store owner David Blanchard and gives a couple more details about food options on the square. In a half-inebriated state you’ll have the option of hot dogs and hamburgers from the DHS Football Booster Club, barbecue from Maddy’s, and Mexican food from Matador Mexican Cantina.

Tickets are still available, but this thing will sell out so don’t delay any longer!  Go here and close the deal.

Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival

Even though the leaves are still green in mid-October, it’s time to remind everyone of this Saturday’s 10th Annual Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival. The festival will run from 10am-7pm in Harmony Park.

With over 50 artists, live music, pumpkin painting and a parade, its the perfect place for the kids to run wild, while their parents put aside their historic district differences for a few hours and enjoy the beautiful, less humid weather!

For more info on the artist market, a music performance rundown and directions go to the official website.

DeKalb Bars to Remain Open Late (for now)

I’ve been avoiding this story ’til now, because to me it seems like one big overreaction.  Just because Buckhead had trouble with clubs that stayed open late, doesn’t mean the same sort of perfect storm will happen in DeKalb.  And even if DeKalb rolled back closing times, it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to flock to Decatur (Preston Craig’s Decatur Social Club has already crammed Azul to its max capacity).

Let’s see what kind of crime data the commission comes up with over the next month before rushing to judgment, because right now it all just seems like speculation.

The commission will revisit this issue on Nov. 13th.

Top Sandwich Shop Headed to Decatur

According to Creative Loafing, the worldly Pangaea is expanding from West Midtown to the east side of Decatur. This top-rated, Best of Citysearch sandwich shop is moving in on Ponce to the east of Sam’s Crossing (2752 E. Ponce de Leon Ave). Check out the menu here.

This is a big jump for Decatur development. Trendy restaurants moving east of DeKalb Industrial? Watch out Pin-Ups! Redevelopment is on the doorstep!

Update:  David over at in Decatur headed over to the site this morning and reported that Pangaea is moving into the old METRO auto repair building/garage.  Renovations are already underway.

Decatur Book Festival and SIBA Form Partnership

The Decatur Book Festival and SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) recently announced (ok, it was on Sept. 27th) that starting next year, all book sales at the festival will be handled by independent booksellers. Additionally, SIBA’s five annual book awards (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s, and cooking) will be presented at the festival.

As the press release points out, the festival was already heading in an independent direction prior to this agreement, so the partnership was a natural one for both parties. Also Decatur’s central location in the South seems to have been a major selling point.

Hat tip: The Bookstore Tourism Blog